Yesterday’s photo had the Grand Hotel in the background and here it is again, albeit much closer this time, providing the brick backdrop to the funicular station.
The funicular railway here was built almost 15 years after the hotel, opening to passengers in 1881, and it still serves residents and visitors to this day. There were originally a total of five funicular railways at the resort, but there are only two still in service today: the one here (the Central Tramway), and another on the south cliffs (aptly named the South Cliff Lift). Another between these two (the Saint Nicholas Cliff Lift, just the other side of the Grand Hotel) is still in place, but the bottom station is now an ice-cream parlour while the two carriages are fixed in place at the top of the incline and make up the Saint Nicholas Cafe.
The other two were in the North Bay area of the town. The North Bay Cliff Lift was closed in 1996 and has been dismantled and placed in storage, while the Queen’s Parade Cliff Lift appears to have had a somewhat ill-fated lifespan, being subject to runaway cars, accidents and mechanical failures until a landslide eventually caused it to close for good in 1887, just nine years after it opened.
There are various meandering pathways to and from the seafront for those who don’t wish to ride in style (or some seriously imposing sets of steps for those of a sturdy disposition!).
Pentax Espio 140M & Kodak Colorplus.
Taken on 13 July 2019